Beef Stew with Cranberries

This is such a quick and easy winter stew recipe, just chunks of beef slow-cooked with onions and cranberry, creating melt-in-your-mouth tender bites of meat, simple enough for a weeknight supper but special enough for company too. Winter Stew with Cranberries is based on an old-fashioned recipe for Swedish Kalops, no wonder it's perfect for cold winter nights!

Beef Stew with Cranberries ♥, an easy weeknight stew based on old Swedish recipe, just chunks of beef slow-cooked with onion and cranberry.

As the holiday season winds down, it's time to turn to simple foods that can be prepared in a few minutes and then forgotten until hunger strikes at serving time. Whether cooked ahead for a weeknight supper or simmered stovetop for Sunday dinner, Beef Stew with Cranberries fits the bill for easy, filling winter fare.

Swedish cookbooks offer dozens of traditional recipes for Kalops, sometimes anglicized to Callops. Centuries ago, the meat and gravy mixture was served on sailing ships so most recipes call for a generous quantity of allspice or cloves to mask the taste of (ewwww ....) spoiled meat on long voyages.

My delicious variation creates morsels of tender meat in a fruit-sweetened gravy that to my taste is decidedly addictive.

For a traditional Swedish or Finnish meal, serve the stew with boiled potatoes (skins on, of course, either plain or tossed with a little butter and fresh dill), pickled beets and a green salad.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 6 cups
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 16 ounces canned whole-cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water, depending on how much gravy is wanted

Heat the oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven until shimmery. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the meat pieces and dredge with the flour mixture until lightly coated. Add the meat to the hot oil and cook the meat until it is brown on all sides. Top with remaining ingredients and stir.

STOVETOP Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for at least 90 minutes until meat becomes tender.

OVEN Cover and cook at 200F/100C for 2 hours or until meat becomes tender.

Remove bay leaves before serving.

ALANNA's TIPS Beef Stew with Cranberries easily converts to gluten-free. Instead of using flour to thicken the gravy, use yellow cornmeal. Works like a charm! Not into canned cranberry? Use Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce for the Slow Cooker.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 429 Calories; 14g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 98mg Cholesterol; 490mg Sodium; 39g Carb; 2g Fiber; 31g Sugar; 33g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 9 & PointsPlus 11 & SmartPoints 15

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I love beef stew recipes. To shift it to gluten free is easy with using a gluten free flour. I don't have a can of cranberries but fresh ones. I wonder if I put them into the blender and added it to the mix, if that would work. I might need a little agave. What do you think?
Diane ~ Fresh cranberries, for sure, but I'd be inclined to cook the cranberries with sugar or, as you say, agave, and a splash of water until the berries popped. Glad you like the recipe, it's just so simple, my favorite!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna